Many years ago, I used to visit a record shop in Lichfield called ‘Tudor Tunes’. When it closed in 2008 I was surprised that no other independent record shop opened in the city. That is until now. Tim Balderstone has opened an incredible record shop in an old school called ‘Stylus Records’. I recently paid him a visit. I asked him a few questions starting with ‘Why he opened a record shop?’
I love music. Having worked in the city of London for many years, I missed my children, my home and my music collection. When at home I had to travel a good distance to my now very good friend, Steve, at his independent record shop ‘Polar Bear ‘in Kings Heath, Birmingham. I felt that Lichfield needed a record shop. Opening Stylus Records has given me the chance to immediately work with my eldest child, and, hopefully, in the fullness of time, my younger son. I also hope to be able to give them a viable business concern to continue when I retire. Now I get the opportunity to recommend, listen and talk about music every single day whilst I’m at work which is a dream for any music lover. Lichfield has a great musical community with its own festivals, open-mic nights and events. That said, a record shop with a large and diverse stock of music in all physical formats, both new and pre-loved, was missing. I wanted to fill this gap and support the local community.
Tell me about your first day?
Chaotic and full of stress! We didn’t complete legalities on the property until the 11th hour and finding tradespeople was a real challenge. My carpenter occupied the whole of the shop forecourt all-day on the first day we opened (1st Dec) and my electrician installed the security cameras and wiring for the sound system that same evening. That said, we welcomed a decent number of very friendly customers and sold some amazing records! We have got off to a great start and have had some lovely and generous feedback! Thank you, Lichfield (and surround)!
The response from the public?
I can only describe the response as one of excitement and generosity. Our customers are very complimentary of the building, the environment and the varied music that we have playing. Vinyl is easily outstripping CD for sales, and a few customers have even enquired after tape cassettes! We have already taken stock of some great pre-loved record collections (both albums and 7” singles) and so the second-hand section is already up and running. The heavy rock section appears to be particularly busy – not a genre that I particularly cared for as I was exposed to far too many spandex clad long-haired rockers with star-shaped guitars by my elder brother at a time when all I wanted to listen too was ELO, Supertramp and Fleetwood Mac. I’ve also been struck by how many who have expressed a desire to shop and support locally rather than online.
What records from Proper are you enjoying?
I am a big fan of reggae, so the Greensleeves titles always grab my attention, especially if Lee Scratch Perry was involved (e.g. Heart of the Congo’s). I have a very good reggae section. I am also a huge fan of ‘Half Man Half Biscuit’. The latest album ‘The Voltarol Years’ is a classic. I don’t understand how a band so good can remain a cult band for nearly 40 years. They should be massive.
Vinyl, CDs, cassettes – new and second-hand
Wednesday – Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday – Tuesday: Closed
Minster Pool Walk